Thursday, 12 July 2007

AAA When Worlds Collide - Retro Review

For this week's retro review, we'll step back in time to November 1994. With the help of Eric Bischoff and World Championship Wrestling, Mexican promotions AAA and IWC presented When Worlds Collide from the Los Angeles Sports Arena, and live on pay-per-view throughout North America, thanks to WCW's connections. I've heard a great deal about this event over the past few years, and having recently come into possession of a copy, I looked forward to reviewing this show.

The show begins with Chris Cruise and Arturo Rivera kicking things off in the arena, before Professor Mike Tenay takes things up for the English-speaking television audience.

First up is the minis match, as Mascarita Segrada & Octagon Cito take on Jerrita Estrada and Espectrito. After my recent TNA review you'll know that I'm not a fan of midget wrestling. Although, seeing as Estrada is five-feet-four, can we really count him as a midget. we have two little guys against two not so little little guys. Lots of high fying and spot based wrestling here. There's no doubting the skills of these guys, it's just not my cup of tea. The win came when Segrada pinned Espectrito after a moonsault off the top rope.

Next up we have a six man match as Madonna's Boyfriend, Fuerza Guerrera & Psicosis take on Rey Mysterio Jr, Heavy Metal and Latin Lover. Madonna's Boyfriend is actually the late Louie Spicolli, long-time WWF jober. This bout is fought under more traditional lucha rules, with each team nominating a captain. After a somewhat lacklustre first match, this one more than made up for it, with some great action throughout, particularly from the young Mysterio. The end came when Guerrera locked in an armbar submission on Heavy Metal for the victory.

Following that great bout, we see out second six man match, and an ultimate mark out moment for me as Pegasus Kid, aka Chris Benoit, 2 Cold Scorpio and Tito Santana take on Jerry Estrada, La Parka and Blue Panther. It was nice to see Santana putting the awful El Matador gimmick behind him. Again, this is a bout fought under traditional lucha rules with team captains. A lot is made of Santana's apparent lack of experience under lucha rules, and of the dissention between team-mates La Parka and Estrada. This bout was just as good as the last one, with La Parka's and Estrada's feud literally costing their team the victory. The win came after Benoit reversed a Panther powerbomb atempt into a roll-up pin for the win. Afterwards Estrada & La Parke went at each other again, with a bemused Blue Panther looking on.

Then it was the first of the two main events, as Love Machine Art Barr and Eddie Guerrero took on El Hijo Del Santo and Octagon in a double hair v mask match. I had heared nothing but great things about this match over the past few years, which was fought under the best of three falls rule. The first fall came when Guerrero pinned Santo after a Frankensteiner off the top of Barr's shoulders, and when Barr pinned Octagon after a frog splash off the top rope. After some more hard fought action, Guerrero got the first half of the second fall when he pinned Santo after a Frankensteiner off the top rope, essentially eliminating Santo from this part of the match. But Octagon fought back by pinning Guerrero with a roll-up, and then making Barr submit after a Russian leg-sweep. With Octagon having pinned both men to level the scores, Santo was allowed back into the match for the final fall. The third fall began with some slower action, which picked up after a while, with Barr pinning Octagon after an illegal tombstone piledriver, leaving Santo on his own. However, after Santo's cornerman, Blue Panther, scored with a piledriver on Barr while the ref was distracted, Santo pinned Barr, making it a one on one match betweeen Santo and Guerrero. The end came when Santo reversed a full nelson suplex into a roll-up for the winning pinfall. As Octagon was taken away in an ambulance,
Barr and Guerrero lost their hair in the ring. Great stuff here.

Then, before our main event, Arturo Rivera and Mike Tenay enter the ring to set the stage for the main event, and as the cage is lowered, we get a brief shot of Eddie Guerrero getting the cue ball treatment backstage.

It's then on to the main event itself, between heated rivals Konan and Perro Aguayo. It's good to see Cuba's most famous wrestler at a time when he wasn't a bit part player in a three man faction. If I'm to be totally honest here, this bout was good, but it wasn't the best cage match I've seen. Konan and Aguayo tore strips off each other, and it was turned up a notch when Eddie Guerrero and Louie Spicolli tried to interfere on Konan's behalf, which lead to Konan battering Aguayo with some brass knuckles, which didn't help Aguayo's blood flow problems. Things were evened up when the team known as the Dynamitre Brothers came down to the ring, one of them clobbering Konan as he climbed to the top of the cage. A bloody Aguayo was then able to climb over the top of the cage for the win.

In conclusion, this event has gained legendary status among hardcore tape traders, and for good reason. This is a perfect example of lucha libre action, and a good introduction to this style of wrestling if you haven't seen it before. Production wise, it's not over extravagent, and commentators Mike Tenay and Chris Cruise were certainly up to the task, giving viewers unfamiliar with the lucha libre rules the information they needed to get quickly clued up on things. It got me thinking that this was perhaps the reason CMLL didn't get over too well with viewers of The Wrestling Channel.

Special mention must go to the crowd in attendance at the L.A. Sports Arena. I've heard stories about Mexican crowds, and this tape certainly reiterated those stories. They were certainly baying for the blood of Eddie Guerrero and Konan, so much so that I could have sword Guerrero took one on the chin while at ringside.

Match of the night goes to the mask v hair match between the teams of Eddie Guerrero & Art Barr and El Hijo Del Santo & Octagon. Some great action here, and if you haven't seen this match before, I suggest you try and get hold of a copy of this show. You won't be disappointed.

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